Ah, food and theatre go so well together, don’t you think!?! Right across from London Bridge station is the Borough Market, attracting traders selling grain, fish, vegetables and livestock since the 13th century, making it one of London’s oldest markets. The food quality is outstanding, and they had free samples throughout the whole market. However, consider this your warning, do not visit here on an empty stomach! Everything smells so great it will be impossible to choose.
Visitors are encouraged to ask vendors anything they want to know about their products and can expect a knowledgeable response in return. The market has a panel of experts to ensure that the taste and quality of the foods being sold at the market meet their high standards. We took home some pies from Pieminister and it was (sorry Grandma) the best Pie I have ever had! The lady packaged all the pies up for us and put in a slip of paper with proper instructions for heating it up. We grabbed some Pimm’s on the way home, and had a superbly British meal at home.
A bit further along the water front is Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre , a reconstruction of the 1599 Globe initiated by Sam Wanamaker in 1949. It is not a circular building but is in fact 20 sided, and was reconstructed the same way as it would have been back in the 16th century. The roof is made of water reed, and the walls are covered in a white lime wash. The inside is beautiful, made entirely out of solid oak! The elaborately decorated ‘boxed seats’ are for those of the higher class as the most expensive seats at the theatre back then were located at the sides of the stage. We were lucky and went in the morning, catching the first tour. Any later and we would have not been able to take photos from the inside as the actors would be practicing for their shows in the afternoon and evening.
We received our very first piece of mail from back home today. It’s the greatest feeling ever, like waiting for Christmas morning but you’re not sure what day Christmas will be on! The yellow padded envelope was from Grandma and Grandpa and contained 4 packets of Orville Redenbacher’s finest microwavable popcorn. Perfect timing for us since every Tuesday David and I have pizza and a movie night. It was Fridays back in Canada but here it’s just cheaper for us on Tuesdays so we swapped days.
If you need any other great ideas of what to mail us from Canada here’s a list that might just help you out of items that are either unavailable here or they are but will cost a fortune:
- Microwaveable Popcorn, ALWAYS a good idea
- Brown Sugar and Maple Flavoured Oatmeal
- Anything from the Christie cookie family like Oreos
- Apple Cinamon Cheerios, my favourite (ask anyone I worked with) and not available here
- Chocolate chips for baking, they don’t have those here either except in tiny little bags
- Kraft Dinner
- Maple Syrup, David is currently rationing the amount we have until friends visit in late December
This list also applies to anyone else reading of what you should bring over with you when you move if you’ve got the extra space.
It’s been 1 month without a Tim Hortons cup of coffee, maple syrup soaked pancakes, some classic Swiss Chalet sauce and well, we couldn’t last any longer without them! To cure our homesickness for our staple foods we went to The Canada Shop in Covent Garden. Of course this is where plenty of Canadians go to pick up a few things they didn’t realize are different in the UK including pickles/relish, Christie cookies and Kraft products like KD and peanut butter.
Since there was a gathering of Canadians all in the store hovering around the maple syrup we felt like we knew them. It turns out we didn’t know them exactly but we did both know the same people! This is how it all happened, first the guy said he knew where Wyevale, Ontario actually was and had a friend there. I asked who (since it is a small town) and it turns out it was a family in Perkinsfield that I recognized the names of. It turns out he went to school with the brother of a girl I used to play hockey with. Yes, I AM CANADIAN!
The other “Canadian hot spot” in London is the Maple Leaf. It’s a pub just down the street from the Canadian Shop. It’s a sports bar that lets hope will show some NHL games if the strike ever ends. I think we found our place to go on Canada Day and to just hang out if we’re feeling a bit far from home.